Unlike modern Western law, which is generally assumed to be the product of human deliberation about the common good, at least in democratic countries, Jewish law is a normative system in which adjudication is subject to religious commandments. The judge bears responsibility not only to the litigants standing before him but also to God, an allegiance which most modern Western judges do not, at least explicitly, recognize.
Because of the systems' assumptions that law is made by humans and thus can be understood by human judges given the appropriate information, modern Western legal systems infer that judges are under obligation to render a decision on any legal question brought before them, even in doubtful cases. Secular-civil law views the resolution of a dispute as preferable to its non-resolution, even if the judge has reservations about his decision. The judge who is hesitant to decide a case is considered to have failed to properly discharge his judicial role, the very essence of which is the regulation of human conduct in one form or other. The obligation of the judge to render a decision on every legal question both implies and requires that a judge exercise creative discretion in at least some cases where the law or its intended application are not clear to ensure the rendering of a clear and unequivocal decision on any legal question brought before him. As a consequence of this unequivocal demand that the judge decide, most judges must make peace with the possibility that their rulings may later be discovered or determined to have been mistaken.